Woman can’t be forced to cohabit with husband even by court decree: Gujarat HC

Ahmedabad, 30/12: Overturning a family court’s order, the Gujarat High Court has said that a woman cannot be forced to cohabit with her husband and establish conjugal rights with him even by a court’s decree.



The high court also observed that the first wife may decline to live with her husband on the ground that the “Muslim law permits the polygamy, but has never encouraged it”. “The Muslim law, as forced in India, has considered polygamy as an institution to be tolerated, but not encouraged, and has not conferred upon the husband any fundamental right to compel his wife to share his consortium with another woman in all circumstances,” it further observed in a recent order.


The HC cited the Delhi High Court’s recent order, which said that the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) should not remain a mere hope in the Constitution.


The Gujarat HC’s division bench of Justices J B Pardiwala and Niral Mehta said that the decision in a suit for the restitution of conjugal rights does not depend entirely on the husband’s right, and the family court should also consider whether it would make it inequitable for it to compel the wife to live with her husband.

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